As our earthly father wants to meet the aspirations and requirements of his family, so does our heavenly Father want to meet the many needs of His children. Becoming a child of God is not without rewards; He truly loves and cares for all those He has forgiven. In His love He has promised to meet all our needs, but God will hold all of His children accountable for their behavior, good or bad. As we discussed in a proceeding chapter, God’s Ultimate Gift: sacrificial Love, God’s most priceless gift was the gift of His beloved Son. The Bible says, speaking about giving good gifts, everyone wants to give the best to their families and to the ones that they love.
If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly
Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him? Luke 11:11-13 As we think about how good God is and His marvelous gifts, we can go no farther without talking about Jesus, the most amazing and wonderful gift ever given. Without the gift of God’s Son, we would be totally lost and without hope. I believe that without Jesus coming to this earth and dying for us, the
earth, or at least the people that live upon it, would have long ago ceased to exist. He is the true preserver of life and those things we consider important and necessary. The only true love on this earth was given to us in the form of God’s Son, Jesus. Without the love He has shown to all mankind, we would be ruled by the evil intentions of an evil adversary, an adversary that is all about our destruction and death. As the Bible says, God is love. Without love, any form of sanity or true concern of one for another would be nonexistent. In the world today, the word love has little meaning, and to hear it spoken only leaves you wondering what is to be expected of you. I love you, but first you must be willing to give me what I want and deserve: this is carnal love. True love is a giving word, a word of sacrifice, of devotion. It seeks not for itself but yearns only to serve. A devoted mother loves her child and, in her selfless attitude, is only concerned for the needs of her child. I can remember my mother going without food so that her children could be fed. I can remember the long hours at the ironing board and the many hours on her knees, asking God to care for and protect her children. She is the one who has shown me what love is truly all about. When I hear God telling me how much He loves me, I can relate to the sacrifice of my mother and know what God truly feels. If you have never been loved, you have lost life’s most precious treasure; but God loves you, and He is waiting for you to return His love.
In an evil world there are many who think God is ruthless and uncaring. They say that God, in His control of this world, is not compassionate and sharing. In their spite and disbelief, they base their declaration upon opinions and not fact. In their minds, if there were a God and He was all loving as His Word says He is, there would be no wars, famine, or in general, anything that is difficult or undesirable. To base an opinion on lies and deception is only playing a fool’s game and to dismiss the truth, at your own peril, will not be considered wise or sound. Selfish desires and judgments are not a solid foundation for building upon, and to arrive at a conclusion from the desires of a lustful heart can only bring about strife and bitterness. Resentment or the act of rebellion will never produce righteous judgment and to consider yourself wiser than your creator is complete heresy. The Bible states that “The fool hath said in his heart, ‘Thereis no God.’ They are corrupt, they have done abominable works,
there is none that doeth good” (Psalm 14:1). It is a given that we must believe someone or something if we are to have a basis for our opinions or beliefs or if we are to even function. As the well-known quote goes, “If you believe in nothing, you’ll fall for anything.” While the right to our opinions has been guaranteed us by the Constitution, that same Constitution does not insure that our opinions will be honest or acceptable. Ill thought out expressions of contempt or condescension have no place in the heart of any man, let alone those who consider themselves to be reasonable and just. I am surely not the most educated or learned
individual, but even as a child, I could understand that there was a God who took care of me and loved me. As I grew older and wiser, I did not give up the idea that there was a God but was only made more aware of His true existence and magnificence. I was not forced to believe what I do; my beliefs were developed by conscious thought and study. Even though we had very little, I did not blame anyone for our predicament, especially God. It is so easy to doubt or to place your disappointments at the feet of another, but doing so will not make you happy or give you any relief. Grudges or hard feelings contain nothing but hate, and
hating your brother, or sister, or God will not give you peace. As God gives good gifts to His children, so also the devil seeks to give the things of the world to us. In Satan’s evil heart, he seeks only to pervert and destroy what God has sought to preserve and redeem. Instead of blaming God, maybe a better policy would be that of giving Satan his due.
I’ve heard all the stories and been exposed to most of what this world has to offer. As a child, I was protected from the more sinister or evil parts of society, but as I grew up, that did not keep me from being exposed to it. In a world that is controlled by Satan (See 1 Peter 5:8 and Ephesians 2:2), it would be impossible not to have been abused by him or at least tempted. Satan does not wait until you have grown or matured to accost you but begins planting evil seeds of doubt the day you are born. It is said that you learn more in the first five or six years of your life than you do in the remaining part of it. If this is true, do you think Satan would wait? Most people would agree that the more stupid or immature things they have done were in their childhood. I do not intend this as an excuse or an attempt to justify, only to show that inappropriate action, or shall we call it sin, is performed when we are less prepared to deal with or resist it. Things that we are taught or habits that we develop early on are difficult to change; all of our ideas, thoughts, and beliefs are what make us who we are. If we are filled with inappropriate ideas, then we, at some point, will be compelled to act upon them. Good, honest, appropriate ideas produce good, honest, appropriate actions. It’s sad to say that the opposite is also true: bad or evil ideas produce evil actions or sin ( James 1:15). Sin is not just a three-letter word or a word that describes those things that we should not do. Sin is not something that God will tolerate or over-look. We are not excused from sin when those sins are considered as secret or we were not caught in doing them. Sin is what separates us and keeps us from enjoying the things that God has prepared for all of us. Sin is what takes a life of joy and satisfaction and makes it a life of doubt and despair. Worst of all, sin is what separates us from God and will send us to hell. God sent His Son to free us from the bondage of sin. What greater gift could He have given? God has given His children everything that they possess. He does not force us to accept all of His treasures, many of them are only made available. While they are given us to enrich and perfect us, they are ours to accept or refuse. So many of His blessings are taken for granted. They are present in our everyday existence, and we just accept them as inevitable. The air we breathe, the water we drink, the sun and the rain that are necessary to grow the food we consume: where do they all come from? He has promised to meet all of our needs; and, in His magnificent love, He has given us the very best of heaven. God endeavors to provide us the good and beneficial things of life. Without His eternal goodness we would live in hopelessness and un-forgiven sin.
The gifts of Satan are not so profitable; they are for our undoing. His intent is not to elevate but to drag down. His actions are to pervert, not to purify; to entice, not to set free. All gifts from Satan are given with the intent of destruction and are packaged in the wrappings of deceit and deception. He is the father of lies and will do whatever it takes to deceive and destroy. You can give, or will give, only those things that you have, or understand, or associate with. In God, we are given those things that are honest, upright, and holy; Satan causes us to desire those things that are selfish, infamous, perverted, and destructive. Satan can give only those things that make up his character. He is a loser, and he has no desire to give anything that he cannot have. If he is going to be condemned, then he wants us all to be condemned with him. You are in charge or responsible for your actions here on earth; and, when you choose not to allow God to lead, His blessings will be lost. Personal responsibility will go a long way in changing your habits; and, as you become more responsible you will also become more understanding. Blaming God for all your troubles and difficulties here on earth will not release you of their liability. A sponge placed in water will progressively become more saturated the longer it is submersed. In our lives, this reality will remain true no matter where we choose to go or to whom we choose to associate. God’s intent is for our good while Satan’s is for our undoing. God cares about us while Satan does not. Evil can be pleasant for the moment or for a season, but if our satisfaction is to be lasting, it must be a deeply integral part of us; it must be there to save us and not to destroy us. God seeks to
give us His salvation, to take us from that awful pit and place us in the brighter home with Him.
If God is love, and He is, then the opposite of God would be Satan and hate. Makes sense, don’t you think? If there were no love in existence on this earth, how do you think we would
act, or how would we intercommunicate? With love in existence, take a look at all the strife and discord that abounds; without love, what do you think would happen? What kind of gift would you expect to get from someone that loves you; from someone that hates you? It seems that every time I begin to think or write about God, I am brought back to the central topic or character of love. So much of our lives are established around this thing called love; and without it, would life really be worth living, really? This thing called love is what distinguishes man from the animals, and in the animal kingdom, we know what different species do to survive. God has prepared to give His children so much more. As I have stated time and time again, the Bible says that every good gift that we have comes from Him (James 1:17). Appropriately enough, we must first be His children to avail ourselves of His many gifts. You can give a gift to anyone, but you cannot force him or her to accept it. Because you have a good and loving feeling in your heart does not mean that your friends will respond in the same manner. There is one gift that God has provided for all, and that is the gift of eternal life. Like all other gifts, you really don’t possess it until you willingly receive it; you can’t enjoy it until you unwrap it and use it. “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened” (Matthew 7:8). Once you have accepted His perfect gift of salvation you will understand what the love of God is all about. There is really no other way of explaining it, there is no other way to understand. Abundant living is having this knowledge of the goodness of God and then spreading it around so that everyone has the opportunity to enjoy it. His most marvelous gift of love is intended for all; He gave so that we could gain. I thank God for all that He has given me, but while enjoying His goodness, I think of others and want to share it with them. If you should be reading this, then thank God, for His Word has come true. He has allowed me a moment to express to you how truly marvelous He is and to tell you how much He really loves you. You’ve been given a gift, the gift of the knowledge of God’s eternal love. I will be the first to tell you that I could not be writing this without God’s help, and it is only because of my willingness to speak of His atoning grace that His will is being accomplished. That does not make me special or important; only God’s willingness to die gives me immeasurable worth, and His desire to meet all my needs makes me fulfilled. I am brought to tears when I think how much God loves me, and in my thankful heart, I wish to tell others about His awesome love.
While I am made to consider my rights and responsibilities, God has also taken upon Himself those things that I cannot control on my own. God has saved me, and as I live each day, He meets my every need. He not only provides for me personally; as I ask for His love and protection, He places His goodness around my family and sees that their needs are met. I don’t think that I could last very long if I could not depend upon the promises of God. Without Him everything would be hopeless and illusive. Without Him I would be dying and afraid. God’s promises are not there to make me love Him; they are there because I do love Him. God’s protection is not there because He wants to be overbearing and ruling but because He knows I would be destroyed without Him. God’s love is not there because I deserve to be loved but because, out of a compassionate heart, He has chosen to love me. He loves us without condition or coercion. God’s blessings are not there to buy my approval or favor; He blesses me out of a giving heart, wanting to provide for His children. All these things—love, protection, blessings—are there because of His love, and He knows how helpless and vulnerable I would be without Him. As a father yearns to hold his child, God wants to hold each of His children. It should be my passion to please Him, and the only way that I can give Him what He wants, yes, and even deserves, is to live for Him. When you think about it, as I give my life to God, I am blessed not only because I am placed in the hands of a loving God who wants to meet my needs but because I am taken out of the hands of the evil one, Satan, who only wants to see me die. Nothing happens without God knowing. He is in control of it all, and He will see that everything works for the good of those who love and serve Him. So many things happen for our good which we are not even aware of, which we may never know. So many prayers are answered that are not revealed. The many things that God does in secret are for Him to know and Him alone. His all-inclusive love has given the world the ultimate gift, the blessing of His Son. Through His Son, we are given unlimited possibilities and the perfect joy of being with Him. We speak of heaven, but somehow, I believe that is only the beginning. For His children, God will hold nothing back that is good or beneficial. God is not limited; He is rich, and He is powerful. It, therefore, becomes impossible to completely imagine all that God has prepared for those who love and serve Him. What an unspeakable gift: what a wonderful prospect.